Itch to Stitch Blog Tour: The Medellin Top

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Welcome, sewing friends! I was utterly delighted when I was invited to join the Itch to Stitch blog tour! Kennis has designed so so many beautiful patterns and seeing them sewn up on everyone helps jog my memory about clothes I’ve been itching to make myself. It’s no secret that fall is MY VERY FAVORITE season and probably also my favorite season to wardrobe plan. All the cozy clothes!

After much excited debate, I opted to sew up the Medellin Top; it could work as a layering piece or on its own, and definitely will be useful in the cooling fall weather (whenever that decided to commence. Just waiting with bated breath over here!)

I also figured that it would be really fun to make Medellin work for a couple of different situations, so I chose some very autumn-appropriate Burgundy Rib Knit (courtesy of blog tour sponsor Mily Mae Fabrics) to start with for a more casual, everyday wear top.

How pretty is the side gathering? Ready for my tiny pro-tip? While I was basting the clear elastic to the gathered portion, I added a strip of Wash Away Wonder Tape right on top of the elastic strip before applying, and my gathers stayed so nice and even. I love seeing a good close-up, so here’s the aforementioned gathering as well as the front crossover.

The instructions left me with no questions, and the tutorial illustrations are very clear and simple to follow. All the marks ensure all the ease is properly distributed for a beautifully-fitting result.  If you’re a fan of Itch to Stitch patterns, you already know how professional they are.

Paired with jeans and slip-ons, Medellin is a great go-to top for everyday wear. You can see how this would be easy to pull on over a tank or short-sleeved tee for an extra layer, and I also really like how this looks on its own. And the burgundy just shouts for crisp breezes and chilly evenings. Or maybe that’s me. C’mon chilly weather already!!


My second Medellin is for #fancytimes or just when the mood strikes me to wear something upscale. This is some truly incredible Robin’s Egg Velvet (which you can also find at fabulous Mily Mae Fabrics) for a dressier version.


Add a pencil skirt and heels and you’re dressed to impress! I can see myself wearing this out on the town or even a school fundraising event. What a thrill to have something dressy and yes still so comfortable.

And those close-ups!

As a fun bonus, be sure to check out the Itch to Stitch sale on Hepburn, Mila, Vientiane, Aveiro, Davina, Newport, and Medellin today only using coupon code 916itsblogtour25 to get 25% off these patterns on the tour! (The code will be valid for 24 hours 8am-8am Eastern Time.) Be sure to check out the other blog posts for the new daily codes and pattern sales! You can also use the Tour hashtag to look up more sews! #SewITSTour

Please check out the other Bloggers for the ITS September Spotlight Itch to Stitch Blog Tour

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The Hazel Dolman by Bella Sunshine Designs

I love summertime sewing! My boys might be psycloning around me demanding food or Band-aids (or both) between wild kid-important projects, but I’m so happy to mostly focus on making pretty clothes for ME… all while sitting directly under a ceiling fan.

I haven’t tested for Bella Sunshine Designs (aff) in a bit, so I was thrilled to see the line drawings for the new pattern, the Hazel Dolman Top, Tunic & Dress. How great are those shoulder ties? If you can believe it, I don’t already own a pattern with that option. I knew this was destined to be a fabulous hot-weather dress, so I dove right in.

This is the lower neckline, short-sleeved and tunic-length Hazel in a rib knit from Mily Mae Fabrics. The fabric is super soft and stretchy, really lovely to sew with.


The stripes give me a good 90s vibe, and since the top flares under the bust, I paired it with a pencil skirt the same way I would with a peplum top.

You know I love a good detail shot! I’ve been wearing the shirt ties in a bow, but I find myself letting them free and loose on the dress for kicks.

This higher-neckline, sleeveless knee-length orange dress was actually my test garment, but it came out rather perfectly, so I’m calling it a bonus final. This fabric was something I grabbed for super cheap in the garment district, kind of a thicker poly spandex, almost a tiny rib knit.  I’m terrible at making solids (all the prints! all the time!) but this hot coral is pretty magnificent on its own.

I love the dress so much that I couldn’t help myself and did a tiny pattern hack to make a maxi. Ah, the maxi length: my tried-and-true favorite thing to wear. Nothing else makes me look as remotely statuesque and put together in an instant. And wearing one is as easy as pulling on a t-shirt. Easier, even–no pants!

For this magnificent trick, I added 16″ in length and blended out to the hem starting at about the tunic cut line. Next time I’d add 18″ for a little more sweep, but I was sort of excitedly rushing through this project while the kids were occupied. Fabric is an ITY, and I’m forever hoarding massive scale prints for simple maxi dresses and skirts. What better way to show them off?

Oh, and in case you were wondering, it’s utterly a piece of cake to leave off the ties and have a super crazy fast sew!

The Hazel Dolman pattern is available from Bella Sunshine Designs (affiliate link). Get your copy on release sale Friday, August 2 through Saturday, August 10. Happy sewing!

The Bexley Dress by Blank Slate

Hooray! Summer is (sort of) here and with the extra time I’ve gained without school drop-offs and pick-ups, I found myself playing with the Bexley Dress pattern that I recently tested for Blank Slate patterns. Those front and back darts are unbelievably flattering! I originally sewed a black knee length version in a heavier rayon spandex, and I am completely in love. I had to try out a couple of *really* simple hacks.


Since there’s nothing I love more than a long sweeping skirt, I knew Bexley had to become a full length maxi. I added about 16″ to the hemline and pulled out some poly spandex ITY from Fabric Mart I’ve been saving for years. Happy to report that the outcome is all that I hoped for!

Those fabulous darts stayed true to their purpose and gave me lovely shape in these vertical watery/inky/blurred stripes. You can see back seam adds some shaping, too. And now I can swish and sashay to my heart’s content!


The other baby hack I tried was making a swingy tee! This could. Not. Be. Easier. DSC_0891

I estimated how long I wanted the bodice to be, (just held up the paper pattern against myself in front of a mirror, nothing fancy here) and then cut both front and back on the fold (to omit the back seam) and then skipped all the darts! Woot!

This drapey blue fabric is bamboo spandex from Mily Mae Fabrics, and a bunch of pretty colors are available. It’s swishy, swingy, and cool for summer heat! I also love how this version of the Bexley gives some extra airflow between skin and fabric. Pretty perfect summer-wear, if I do say so.

If you’re interested in grabbing your own copy of the Bexley Dress, here’s my affiliate link. It costs you nothing extra, but helps support my sewing hobby. ❤


Lana Top and Dress by Coffee+Thread

I really, really love Olga’s Sirocco Top that came out a few months ago, so I was super happy to join the testing for her newest design, the Lana Top. Made for knits, Lana is delightfully simple and feminine, plus the ruffle details add the perfect element for a contrast fabric. (Which I had to do on two out of three I made… I still need to restrain myself and make a plain solid version!)

The dolman-style sleeves make it a rather quick sew. My first version is an incredibly soft two-sided double-knit, so of course I had to showcase both sides of the fabric. We’ll just refer to this one as the creamsicle tee!



I wanted to try a lighter fabric with more drape, too, so I made a second top from brushed poly I found at Mily Mae Fabrics. I admittedly fussy cut the giant floral and wasted a bit of my yardage, but so worth it for the perfect front bouquet!



I love wearing the top, so I dove in and sewed up a dress version, too! I love the tie belt that’s included, it’s yet another sweet detail that works beautifully in a contrast pattern! The wider stripes are a poly blend, and the narrow stripes are a rayon.


This is a darling top for spring and summer! Grab your copy here: Lana Top & Dress.

The Joy Jacket by Chalk & Notch

You guys, as I sit here eating Raisinets (hush, they are TOO delicious!) I am congratulating myself on probably my most complex and glorious sew to date: Chalk & Notch’s new Joy Jacket. I conquered a separating zipper (easier than any other I’ve sewn!) and bagging a jacket, not to mention hammering vintage grommets and threading  cording through too-small of a channel (my own fault). And the end result is just spectacular, if I do say so.


After checking with Gabriela, I chose a double-sided rayon/poly twill from Style Maker Fabrics, and the peachskin lining was purchased from FabricMartFabrics a while back. It was originally meant to be a blouse, but you know how that goes.

Choosing the main color was difficult, but after much soul-searching I opted for the gray with black accents so they’d best match the zipper, and I even remembered to cut the collar facing the matching coordinating color!


After much grommet debate–silver? black? charcoal?–my husband convinced me that brass was the way so the hardware would match.  I agree that it was the right choice and looks rather professional.


The weight of this particular jacket is also excellent for my mostly-warm climate, and you could certainly choose materials to match yours! I would love to make a breezy Tencel version with a  hood for rainy weather, but this medium-weight and very soft twill is heavenly for chilly mornings plus a heavy marine layer.


The optional topstitching details also lends such a professional result and I’m so happy I went the extra mile. I’m still adhering to my resolve to add pretty details to my garments and this was a no-brainer. And the lined pockets are another sweet detail, though you can’t see them here.


My favorite feature of the Joy *might* be the secret flamingos on my lining. In fact, now I’m going to use #secretflamingos as a hashtag, just wait. How fun is this unexpected pattern? Be sure to look through the tester photos because the beautiful lining surprise is easily half the fun!

I can’t even begin to explain the confidence I’ve gained sewing this jacket successfully! Now it seems that nothing looms as too complicated or too hard to work through and I see a marvelous year of sewing challenges ahead of me now.

Purchase your own copy of the Joy Jacket pattern available today from Chalk & Notch.

Circle Cardie by Rebecca Page

I’ve had a wild and woolly past few months of sewing, friends! I’m attempting to scale back pattern testing a bit (which is so difficult when it’s constantly tempting!) so that I can concentrate a little more on sewing garments on my personal wish list. I also jumped in whole hog to the 52 Week Sewing Challenge which is keeping me busy.  However, with all that said, of course I wanted to leap right in on Rebecca’s new adorable cardigan! I treasure my short coldish months in southern California, and a snuggly sweater is a perfect way to embrace the chill.

Who doesn’t appreciate a simple sew with lovely results? Every time I went to iron the sweater, I had to chuckle because there are no side seams to press.  Ease of construction plus a flattering drape and I’m sold!

I started with the pretty ruffled version in the shorter length. I had first cut the ruffle from a rather loose weave sweater knit and I realized that it wasn’t going to hold up well, so I swapped it for some floral Liverpool that I got in a scrap pack from LA Finch Fabrics. This versions is a lot like wearing a built in scarf and I love how it looks from the back!

My second version is French Terry from Mily Mae Fabrics, and this is the most gloriously silvery sparkly French Terry of all time! Because the fabric is the star here, I opted for the simplest option and just hemmed all the way around.  Now I have an awesome little shrug that I can easily toss on over a tee or wear over a little black dress. Options!

My third version is the longer length paired with full length sleeves for best all around coverage and coziness.  This pretty burgundy sweater knit was also picked up recently at Mily Mae because I’ve been madly working through my sweater stash and had to stock up! The extra length really highlights the drapiness; so sweet and feminine (and warm). And I’m proud of myself for momentarily escaping my gray/black wardrobe with a pop of color.

I’ve been mulling over that sweater band that I discarded, and I might have to make a fourth Circle Cardie to try out my idea of doubling it over to see how that stands up. But even without it hanging in my closet yet, I have a stylish few weeks ahead!

Scoop up your own copy of the Rebecca Page Circle Cardie and get cozy!

Bundle –
Ladies –
Childs –

Regular price $8.50 each. Special launch price of $6 each or $9 for the whole bundle! (sale prices expire 11.59pm GMT Monday, February 12, 2018)


Ladies Sansa Flare Pants by Bella Sunshine Designs

Pants, all the pants! Sometimes I’m dying to try out a new pattern and sometimes my curiosity gets the better of me and I sign up to sew something that I’m not sure about.  Flares fall into the latter category for me because I carry my weight in my butt and thighs and my concern was that these might highlight the obvious rather than balance me out. Enter the BSD Sansa Flares (aff), my latest pattern test.

My first go at them was in a 4-way ponte with no alternations other than blending sizes.  The pattern is drafted for a taller body that mine, so it helped me figure out that the thighs were a little too long. I was DELIGHTED with how easy the pattern is to sew together: one mirrored piece + elastic = pants!  How often do you get to say that?



My second go was in a very resilient double knit, and I used it inside out since I liked the textured darker color.  (Plus the right side was so very soft!) I shortened the thigh 5/8″ and got the flare in just the right place.  However, this oddball fabric gave me a run for my money; despite having the required stretch, it has such a snappy lycra content (or some other reason I don’t understand) that the waist didn’t reach its intended height, so I added the yoga waist band instead. Bonus belly compression! This is a testament to how much a fabric type can influence a pattern’s fit if there ever was one.



And when these turned out so lovely, so flattering and swingy and fun, I could not resist making one last pair using the above fabric, but this time right side out.  I got creative and was hoping that using the higher rise waist would allow me to use elastic and make them mid-rise, but alas, no.  So high-rise yoga band they are!

P.S. The above camouflage shirt is the Maggie Top, (aff) also from Bella Sunshine Designs.



Why yes, it is perfectly reasonable to wear a cowl neck sweater and sandals!



It was kind of exhilarating to run the gauntlet of pattern options and find what I like best.  And so satisfying to have such a great fit so fast.  This is the thrill of jumping into a garment test you’re unsure about, you periodically win the gamble!  Don’t mind me as I sashay my way through Fall in all my new comfy flares.

Go grab your own copy of the Sansa Flares pattern! Regular sale is Friday, December 8th – Friday, December 15th Ends at midnight EST. Members of the Bella Sunshine Designs Facebook group can grab a coupon to save a little extra on December 7th!

Oakley Vest by Love Notions

Whoops, there went a month!  Here I am in November, and it’s time to start thinking about the cooler weather that might *actually* happen one of these days.  Enter the Love Notions new Oakley Vest (aff). I was super unsure of how I felt about this particular garment and it raised important internal questions: Am I a vest person? Am I a faux fur person?  And happily, it turns out I am both!


Oakley feels totally glorious to wear; the right heft, I have full range of motion for chasing small stinkbugs (aka my boys), and petting the fur FEELS so good!  As an unexpected bonus, I got extra kid hugs wearing this bad boy. We all win!

Before I dove into the wild and wooly world of the fur, I muslined an earlier tester version in wool melton and mystery lining. I’m amazed at how warm this one is (and this material was a piece of cake in comparison).

My eyes are opened to this newfound article of clothing that I no longer fear and I’m looking forward to making another view of Oakley to wear this season – my double-sided gray quilted knit arrives this week!


I can’t wait to debut this over Thanksgiving! Grab your own copy here: Love Notions Ladies Oakley Vest and its adorable little twin the Acorn Vest (aff).  Stay cozy!

Madeline Ballet Sweater by Laela Jeyne Patterns

October is a rough month to sew for me since three Halloween costumes-to-be haunt me, (ha! see what I did there?) but I had to make time to sew up this ballet-style wrap sweater because I knew how utterly lovely and totally useful it would be for fall.

Bear in mind, these are both first versions of a test that had three versions.  The arms were slimmed a bit and the armscye taken in a bit to remove excess after these photos were shot.  Another difficult part of fall sewing is that the light is long gone by the time my photographer gets home from work so I have to work around weekends and can’t always sew/photograph a final version by the deadline.

Still, I really like how my hot pink French Terry version turned out!  I had blended out at the waist, but turns out I didn’t need to do so with this fabric.  I get a comfy, slouchier vibe from this one.  I wore it this week over a sleeveless maxi dress and it was perfect!  I knew this pattern was a winner.  😉

My second version is made out of distressed knit (which I’m using for everything these days!) that I bought from Mily Mae Fabrics a couple of months ago. This one is such a great, almost-denim neutral, and I got a better fit sticking within the same size all over.  I did go back and remove a little of the excess fabric on this one, and the updated fit is right on.

The darling (and practical!) Madeline Ballet Sweater is part of the Fall 2017 Collection available at Laela Jeyne Patterns (aff). On sale now until October 21! Check out the rest of the tester blog tour for more inspiration!


Sew Sew IlseKutti CoutureSea of EstrogenLunatiekFlaxfield Sewing


Tip StitchedLunatiekNini and AshMargarita on the RossSew You Think You Can Sew


Diskordia’s Curvy Sewing Kelly’s Sewing CreationsFlaxfield Sewing Katie Sews Things My Little Lady and GentlemanSweet Meadow Threads

The Frida Top and Dress from Designer Stitch

Add this one to the mistakes-were-made-but-I-love-it-anyway shelf.  The Frida is a take on the lovely vintage style Mexican blouses full of embroidery.  I don’t embroider, nor could I hunt down a suitable embroidered border print fabric that I loved, so I went with a more modern all-over embroidered cotton fabric for my top length garment.


It’s a delight how Ann challenges her testers to push their comfort zones and stretch to a higher fashion territory.  I’m pretty good and sticking with what I like, so I appreciate the (ahem!) gentle nudge.  My first choice (which I have yet to make) was a chambray-colored rayon with incredible drape, so I’m taking baby steps in the right direction.

And my mistake? I sewed my pin tucks inside out. The horror!  But, boy, do I hate seam-ripping since it mostly ruins the experience for me, so here they stay.  I’m pretty sure they’ll go unnoticed by the general public and just bother me alone.


This is another beautiful pattern that challenged me; I more frequently sew knits which are far more forgiving, and the Frida forced me to get into the precision-sewing mindset. I love the details like the puffed sleeves and button closure at the back of the neck (which  I failed to get a good picture of) that make it feel upscale.

Frida pattern available at Designer Stitch.